Thursday, December 31, 2020
In the darkness of the woods,
the sun still shines.
In the darkness of our suffering at our enemies’ hands,
Christ’s Light still shines.
We get to be Christ’s Light
even for our enemies.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
Words of Grace For Today
Enemies shamed, our joy complete.
It sounds like schadenfreude, our joy at others’ misery. Is this part of our Christmas tradition, too?!
It sounds like God’s justice is actually our revenge, or that God’s justice is like Karma: ‘what goes around comes around’.
It sounds like we can ask for anything and it will be done for us … and our joy is completed in having our wishes and whims fulfilled.
When it sounds like that, it is the devil messing around with the Good News, bringing us to suffer perdition even as we live our days on earth.
What a shame to suffer, to be so skewed as to think that the devil’s ways are God’s ways. That is the real shame, for that mix up is the root of all sin. Often instead of knowing they are the devil’s ways we think that they are the good ways we have chosen to pursue for our own good. Hah! How foolish we humans can be, and what a shame we suffer for being such fools.
The Good News is simple: God loves us, all of our fore-bearers descendants, and all of our descendants … and all our enemies! Of course we wish to be freed from suffering at our enemies’ hands. But, though our instincts are to pursue revenge, to cause our enemies suffering, God does not delight in their suffering, nor in their deaths. Instead God wishes that they be converted from our enemies to our friends, from followers of the devil to followers of Jesus.
In this is God’s joy complete.
In this double victory we are freed from suffering at our enemies hands, and we gain new friends and new siblings as children of God.
And in that our joy is complete, as we wish what God wishes: that our enemies be saved as we are saved by Jesus’ sacrifice of unconditional love.
We have waited to celebrate Christ’s birth, because in waiting we can see what otherwise we could not: the patience God has with us and with our enemies. This tradition of Advent waiting is not one many keep anymore. Yet it is a tradition that is more valuable than many others.
It is a tradition that Covid 19 cannot interrupt, rather it disrupts our jumping on the early Christmas bandwagon so easily. It helps us remember Advent is … significantly … for waiting.
In that tradition we may encounter the mystery of God, and be overwhelmed yet again by God’s grace and love for us all, even for our enemies! As the mysteries of God surround us, carry us, and astound us, with our humble praise we give God thanks in all things.
What a life!